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Volvo to Reveal New XC60 Plug-In Hybrid Concept at 2012 Detroit Auto Show +VIDEO

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Volvo XC60 Hybrid Concept

By Thom Cannell
Sr. Editor

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Volvo XC60 Hybrid Concept

Volvo is unveiling a novel take on its XC60, a vehicle we in the US call a station wagon. Previously available in a base 3.2-AWD, T6 AWD, and T6 AWD R-Design - the later with more power and tighter suspension for the enthusiast family “man” - the XC60 Plug-In Gasoline Hybrid Concept is said to be the first that can plugged into a regular household electrical circuit for recharging. Moreover, this PHEV, or Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle, allows the driver to engage push buttons on the center console to select either a PURE electric mode with a claimed 35 mile range, HYBRID mode with now-familiar interaction between electric motor and gasoline engine, or a POWER mode that will couple the 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline engine’s 280 turbocharged horsepower to the e-motor’s 70 horsepower and add another 45 pony’s from the integrated starter-generator. That is a total of 350 horsepower!

   • SEE ALSO: Exclusive PRESS PASS COVERAGE of the 2012 North American International Auto Show

The engine system is coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission and the e-motor drives the rear wheels directly. Volvo claims that fuel economy using the complex EPA rating system for electric and hybrid cars is 105 mpg in pure electric with a 34 mile range and a combined 50 mpg in hybrid mode.

Watch the Volvo XC60 hybrid concept video

If you use all the electrons in the relatively small 12 kW-hour battery (only 8 kW are available for engine power), charging time is listed at 7.5 hours using household 110V 12A circuits or 3.5 hours if you’ve got a dedicated 220V 12A circuit where you live or work. This is extremely important for electric car enthusiasts as the cost of a 220V charging station is $1000-plus, if you have a 220V dryer or stove hookup nearby.

From our point of view, this hits the right notes for a company selling into the US and China. This vehicle retains all the normal Volvo safety features and design cues. It won’t gain huge amounts of weight due to a large battery, and having the option to run in three modes should satisfy all phases of automotive enthusiasm from “its an appliance and living room” to modest hot-rod ambitions.

Note also that this is the rollout of Volvo’s new core Environmental Architecture four-cylinder engine family designed to deliver six-cylinder power with four-cylinder economy. The concept will be infused with Volvo’s latest Sensus infotainment system with routing suggestions that include low emissions zones and local charging stations.

VOLVO XC60 Gasoline Plug-in Hybrid Concept Car FACTS

Four-cylinder, 2.0-litre, turbocharged direct-injected gasoline engine with stop/start driving the front wheels

Max power 280 hp (206 kW) @ 5,700 rpm

Max torque 280 lb.-ft. (380 Nm) @ 1,800 - 4,500 rpm

Electric motor driving the rear wheels

Max power 70 hp (50 kW)

Max torque 148 lb.-ft. (200 Nm)

Integrated Starter/Generator

Additional max power 45 hp (34 kW)

Additional max torque 111 lb.-ft. (150 Nm)

Combined max power output 350 hp (256 kW)

Transmission AWF22 8-speed automatic gearbox

Fuel economy US* 105 mpg (miles per gallon equivalent), during 34 miles (PURE mode), 83 g/mile CO2

Combined fuel economy* 50 mpg, (HYBRID mode), 175 g/mile CO2

Electric range 35 miles* 45 km**

Fuel consumption EU** 2.3 litres/100 km (102 mpg), 53 g/km CO2

Acceleration 0-60 mph 5.8 sec

Acceleration 0–100 km/h 6.1 sec

Battery Lithium-ion battery

Battery capacity/output 12 kWh, of which 8 kWh is used to power the car

Charging time 3.5 h (220V/12A), 7.5 h (110V/12A)

Battery location Under luggage floor

Total range Up to 600 miles (960 km)

Top speed 130 mph (210 km/h)

Tank volume 14 US gal (53 litres)

Luggage capacity To waistline (ISO V211) 14.5 cu ft (410 litres)

To roof (ISO V215) 20.1 cu ft (570 litres)

Towing capacity 3,300 lbs (1,500 kg)

Tyres 265/40 R 21 Pirelli Scorpion Verde

All figures are preliminary.

* US certification driving cycle. Includes emissions from the production of the electric energy.

** European certification driving cycle NEDC.